REFLECTING ON 1-YEAR OF MARRIAGE

Business Coaching Services | Reflecting On 1-year Of Marriage - Tonia Noland

In order to manifest your best life and embark on the journey to be the most authentic version of you, there is one key that starts the proverbial “engine.” Communication. Without it, you get nowhere. There must be interpersonal communication, and external communication in order to start your journey. I’m about to celebrate my one-year wedding anniversary and while reflecting on the incredibly fast, extraordinarily happy year, realized none of it would have been possible without the open lines of communication I have with myself and my husband, Dane. Without communication, I promise you, the journey is long and laborious. But with it, you start the engine to move along in your life and get to where you want to go. Let me tell you a little story…

Once upon a time…

Dane and I started dating in 2014, in California. Through long conversations on those early dates we quickly realized we both wanted to live in Seattle and call the Pacific Northwest “home.” We wanted to be near the mountains and the ocean; live near vast forests and the cultural hub of a city. We agreed we needed to be close to an international airport to keep traveling and experiencing new places together. It was amazing that we wanted to tell each other everything, make lists, and do it all together.

Whether we knew it at the time or not, we were already on our journey, and what got us there was communication. This open dialogue was not something I had experienced in any other relationship. It was freeing and intimidating at the same time. Immediately, I was 100% myself around Dane. And immediately, that meant all of my quirks and emotions were out in the open. Dane rewarded this open communication with all the support in the world. And, I do the same for him. This communication in a relationship thing was working! At the same time, we’ve both been honest with ourselves. When it comes to me, I have to admit a lot to myself before I can bring it to Dane. Same goes for you on your journey. You have to communicate with yourself it before you can bring it out in the open.

You’re not required to do it the same as everyone else.

Once you get married, after everyone is done congratulating you, the next thing friends and family ask is, “When are you having kids?” Whoa! Hold on! We haven’t even unpacked from the honeymoon. Are you going to come raise the kids for us? It’s ok if you haven’t started a family by the time your marriage license arrives in the mail.

Dane and I had the family planning talk way before we ever talked about getting married or buying a house. It was just that important. We agreed that we both wanted to make the most of our time together, just the two of us. Traveling to places like Africa, Australia and Japan, backpacking in Olympic National Park, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, going on a Serengeti safari are all among the things we want to do before we think about starting a family.

As Millennials many of us are finding ourselves years behind the milestones our parents and previous generations experienced. Our parents and their parents had one job their whole life, got married, had kids, retired, the end. It’s not that simple for us. It’s definitely not that simple for me. As an entrepreneur and coach, I have some pretty big things I’m going to be putting out into the world over the next few years. I want to give them my full attention, so I can be my best at serving my clients and all of you. This is the interpersonal communication I’ve had with myself. Admitting that I want to be selfish for a while. I’m choosing to build my empire so I can have the time and money freedom to show my children that yes, you can create an extraordinary and unique life if you really put your mind to it!

There’s no prescribed way to embark on your personal journey, whether it’s marriage and a family or a new career. Your wants, needs and life plans are uniquely yours. If it takes you five years to write on a piece of paper and say out loud, “I want to start my own business,” then that’s what it takes.

You’ve got to talk money.

Wu-Tang said it, Cash Rules Everything Around Me. It’s true. While we’d love to believe we could live in a cash-free, barter-only society, we don’t. So, in order to start or continue manifesting our best self on our life’s journey, we have to talk money. Is there enough to make the jump to whatever it is you want to do? How do you save enough to get there? Talk to yourself, talk to your partner, talk to a coach!

In the context of our marriage, Dane and I opened up the money dialogue immediately, because we were all for the joint tax breaks. We have several joint accounts where we deposit money to pay for collective expenses – utilities bills, gym membership, groceries, mortgage payment – and a savings account for future investments. However, when it came to our bank accounts, we decided we wanted autonomy in our personal spending. Neither of us wanted to feel the need to ask permission to buy something for ourselves. We agreed, we’re independent adults who make our own money, and should be able to keep personal funds to treat ourselves once in a while without the spending talk. We communicated now, so that we don’t have to talk about it later.

Here’s a great tip for saving the funds for your life journey – A Dream Jar. We dropped cash in cash each week to save for the move from California to Seattle. It was fun, because we’d decorated the jar with Seattle stickers and could literally see the money adding up. It was extremely helpful to get a sense of instant gratification every time we looked at the jar and see we were making progress towards our goals! We’ve kept the dream jar and have decided to use it every time we decide to start saving for our next big vacation.

Know where the money’s coming from.

To achieve your best life, you need many things – willpower, self-confidence, positivity. You also need an income. Communicating with yourself or your partner/spouse, and understanding where the money is will help to create a plan to get from point A to point B.

For us, the communication lead to diversifying our income. Our goal is to diversify our income streams so that we aren’t just relying on a bi-weekly paycheck from our jobs. Coaching is one of the income streams I’ve created. I’m also in the process of creating other avenues of income through my coaching business. (Shameless Self-promotion!!) I’m creating a series of online courses. This will essentially act as residual income – income received every time someone purchases a product/service that I’ve already created.

Together, we’ve started buying investment properties. Real estate is one of the most stable areas to help diversify your income stream. When we bought a house, we mindfully decided to purchase a duplex. We live in the “fixer upper” of the two units and rent out the second unit. Being landlords has been a wild ride. We’ve been extremely lucky, so far, in having great tenants. The rent we collect on the second unit alone nearly covers our entire mortgage, allowing us to, basically, live “rent free.” This helps us save to buy additional investment properties and continue to diversify our streams of income. This past March, when we returned from France, Dane and I even started discussing buying an apartment abroad and renting it out at as Airbnb when we’re not enjoying it ourselves.

Find someone who will have your back.

I’ve mentioned before, be your own cheering squad. I continue to preach that. For more on this, read on to learn more about being your own Boss Lady. You also need to have a friend in the trenches. When embarking on a new journey, be it marriage or a new career, knowing there is someone by your side, cheering you on, helping you out, and picking you up when you fall is imperative. If there’s no one there, how can you practice all this communication you’re learning?!

Less than a year after we moved to Washington, and only two months after buying our house, Dane decided he couldn’t continue on the same career path and desperately needed to make a change. He quit his job at the end of October to do a three-month Data Analytics course so he could shift into the tech industry. We had a long talk about what life would look like on one income – my income – and if it was feasible for us.

When we were living in San Luis Obispo, CA, Dane saw me through six months of unemployment. It was not easy, especially considering we were still trying to save money each week in our “dream jar” to fund our move to Seattle. Again, we communicated with each other and devised a plan on how we could survive on one income. Having a person with you on your journey is so crucial in times of struggle, change and uncertainty.

You’ve found the key!

Communication, communication, communication! Without internal and external communication how do you move and grow? Spoiler alert – you don’t. Be open with yourself and your support team – friends, spouse, partner. Share your fears, your insecurities, your successes, your dreams, your vision for how you want to live your life and more! It’s truly the key to success, in marriage and in life.

There will be stumbles. Many of them. But while you’re falling, saying aloud, “well I know that was the wrong step,” sure does help you to learn what not to do next time. And, with a person by your side, to help you up, it cushions that fall. Talk. Talk, talk, talk, talk – about your visions, your goal, money, plans, finances, a budget. Talk about everything. In the journey of marriage I’m still learning how to communicate, and in the journey of life, we’re all learning every day. But, when we communicate about it, we all win.

And they lived happily ever after. The end.

How can I help you on your journey? Let’s connect!

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